Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi recipe

Baked fish can be so bland. So dial up the delicious factor by slathering with an Asian BBQ Sauce, then roast until caramelised! Savoury, sweet, with a hint of spice and a whole lot of yum. We’re making Baked Barramundi here, but almost any firm white fish will work for this recipe. Asian Glazed Baked... Get the Recipe The post Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi recipe appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi recipe
Close up of Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi on coconut rice with a side of cucumber salad

Baked fish can be so bland. So dial up the delicious factor by slathering with an Asian BBQ Sauce, then roast until caramelised! Savoury, sweet, with a hint of spice and a whole lot of yum. We’re making Baked Barramundi here, but almost any firm white fish will work for this recipe.

Platter of Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi with a side of coconut rice and Ginger Sesame Cucumber Salad

Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi

The reason pan-fried fish is so much tastier than just sticking it in the oven is because you get good browning. Colour = flavour with anything, whether it’s vegetables or meats. Fish fillets simply cook too quickly in the oven to get any colour on them.

So how do you make baked fish tastier and more interesting? You could:

  1. Bake it with a sauce – like in this Baked Fish with Lemon Cream Sauce (long time reader favourite!);
  2. Bake it with a crunchy crumb – like this Parmesan-Crumbed Fish, or these Fish Fingers; or
  3. Serve it with an assertive sauce, such as:
    • Chimichurri
    • Pesto
    • Hollandaise or Béarnaise Sauce
    • Salsa Verde
    • Lemon Butter Sauce
    • Romesco Sauce (Spanish red capsicum sauce)
    • A tangy and creamy sauce like Creamy Dill Sauce
    • Any of these Seafood Sauces; OR
  4. You can slather it with what we’re calling an Asian BBQ Sauce, which caramelises beautifully in the 20 minutes it takes to bake fish perfectly in the oven! Just think your favourite BBQ sauce like we use on pork ribs – but with Asian flavours. Savoury, sweet, a hum of spice and tons of flavour!
Close up of Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi on coconut rice with a side of cucumber salad

What you need for the Asian BBQ Sauce Glaze

Here’s what you need for the Asian BBQ Sauce Glaze:

Ingredients in Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi
  • Chinese Five Spice – A store-bought mix of spices used extensively in Chinese cooking made with (wait for it…) FIVE different spices. I know, you fell off your chair in shock. ???? Commonly found nowadays in grocery stores;
  • Sichuan pepper – For a hint of the Sichuan pepper signature cool-and-numbing heat. It’s really not a big deal if you leave it out however. Just add a dash of pepper instead;
  • Sambal oelek – A chunky chilli paste for a hint of chilli heat. Don’t have it? Just use sriracha or other similar Asian chilli paste;
  • Chinese black vinegar OR rice vinegar – Black vinegar has a distinctive flavour, rich and dark, a bit like Asian-y balsamic. So it does add a touch more flavour into the glaze while also deepening the colour of the glaze. But it really is not a big deal if you use rice vinegar instead;
  • Soy sauce – Either all-purpose or light soy sauce. Don’t use dark soy sauce, it will be far too intense. More on different types of soy sauces here;
  • Honey – The main sweet element. Substitute with maple syrup or brown sugar;
  • Mirin – A Japanese cooking wine used to add depth of flavour, and a little sweetness. Substitute with Chinese cooking wine, Japanese cooking sake, or if you can’t have alcohol, chicken stock (see recipe notes);
  • Garlic and ginger – Fresh, please!
  • Sesame oil – Toasted, ie. the bronze-coloured sesame oil, because it has more sesame flavour. Untoasted sesame oil is yellow, and is harder to find in Australia; and
  • Cornflour/cornstarch – Used to thicken the glaze.

Fish for Asian Glazed Baked Fish

I used barramundi in this recipe. The meaty and juicy flesh makes it ideal for the bold flavour of the glaze, and the fillets are thick enough to make them suitable for cooking in the oven.

See below for a list of other suitable fish .Any thick-ish, firm, white fish fillets will work a treat here!

Plate with Raw barramundi fillets
Raw barramundi fillets I used in this recipe. An ideal fish for the intense Asian glaze and baking method.

Skin on or off? Either is fine, it really won’t affect the bake time. But the skin won’t be crispy. If this is a turn-off for you, just eat the flesh and leave the skin.

Other fish suitable to use

This recipe is suitable for most fish fillets around 2.5cm/1″ thick. We need it that thick so it doesn’t cook through too quickly before the glaze has a chance to caramelise (~18 minutes).

Fillets this thick will generally come off a larger fish. Here are some suggestions:

  • Jewfish (mulloway)
  • Snapper (if a large fish)
  • Tilapia – the thick part (reduce oven cook time to 12 minutes)
  • Cod (any)
  • Grouper
  • Monkfish
  • Halibut
  • Pollock (aka Coley)
  • Ling
  • Emperor
  • Striped bass (not all bass is suitable), hake, gummy shark
  • Salmon or ocean trout also work but there might be too much flavour going on as the glaze is quite intense!

Remember, the shape of fish means that you get thick cuts from the main body as well as thin cuts from towards the tail. Opt for the thicker cuts!

Fish to avoid

I recommend avoiding:

  • Fish that dry out easily when cooked – Like swordfish, tuna, bonito, kingfish, marlin, mackerel. Unless you’re extremely careful they can become dry inside so are very prone to overcooking in the oven. I feel these fish are (mostly) better in raw/rare form such as Ceviche, Poke Bowls, Tartare;
  • Delicate fish, thin-filleted, long narrow or small fish – Like flounder, sole, plaice, whiting, bream, dory, basa, hoki, flathead, deep sea perch (Orange Roughy). These fillets are too thin or too long and narrow to cook in the oven using this glaze because they cook too quickly; and
  • Oily, “fishy” fish – Like mullet and sardines.

How to make Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi

I wish more recipes of mine only had FOUR process step photos! ????

How to make Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi
  1. Simmer Glaze – Place all the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and simmer;
  2. Thicken to paste – Simmer for a few minute until it becomes very thick. It needs to be borderline paste-like so it sticks on the fish. If it’s just syrupy, the sauce will just slide off the fish;
  3. Brush/dab glaze on to the fish – the top and the sides; and
  4. Bake then broil/grill – Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C/350°F, then switch to the grill/broiler for 3 minutes to get a gorgeous caramelisation on the surface. Really, don’t skip this step! You get great extra flavour. ????

The target internal temperature of white fish cooked in the oven is 55°C/131°F. More on this below.

Platter of Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi with a side of coconut rice and Ginger Sesame Cucumber Salad

Target internal temperature of baked fish

For white fish fillets, I target an internal temperature of 55°C/131°F (to take fish out of oven, aka “pull temperature”) which is medium doneness. For fish, this means it is just-cooked, ie. very juicy, moist flesh that is not rare or raw at all. The residual heat as it rests will increase the internal temperature a few degrees, to give a final reading of around 58°C/136°F.

The FDA recommends an internal temperature of 63°C/145˚F, which is medium-well done. This is safe for all types of white fish because it is thoroughly cooked. However you will find that for leaner fish such as cod, it is not as juicy as it could be at this temperature.

If you ask chefs, you’ll find that many will target an internal temperature of 50°C/122°F (pull temperature). This is just medium, which means the fish is at its absolute optimum juiciness. For home cooks however, this is a tricky act to ensure the fish isn’t underdone.

So in my view, it’s safest to target 55°C/131°F. Even if you overshoot it a bit, the fish will still be far from overcooked. This is also a good target internal temperature for roasted fish according to notable Australian seafood cookery experts such as Josh Niland, chef/owner of the critically acclaimed Saint Peter fish restaurant and Fish Butchery in Sydney. He is author of award-winning The Whole Fish Cookbook (page 209 for roasting temperatures).

Close up photo showing inside of Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi
Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi on a platter with coconut rice and cucumber salad

What to serve with Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi

The Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi is shown in this post with a side of Coconut Rice and cucumbers tossed with Asian Sesame Dressing.

The glaze and juices from the fish are flavourful enough to serve it with plain steamed rice. Choose from white, jasmine, basmati or brown rice. Or for a low-carb option, cauliflower rice (really, it’s not just healthy but delicious!).

For flavoured rice options, try one of these:

As for vegetables and salads to serve on the side, here are some suggestions:

It’s dawned on me writing this that I’m a little short on Asian side salads. Time to start building up my stash. ???? Keep an eye out for more in the coming weeks!Nagi x


Watch how to make it

Close up of freshly cooked Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi
Print

Asian Glazed Baked Barramundi (or other fish)

Recipe video above. Banish boring baked fish with this sweet n' savoury, gently spiced Asian-style barbecue glaze. A quick finish under the broiler / grill caramelises the glaze for maximum flavour!
For the most juicy and perfectly cooked fish, take the fish out when the internal temperature is 55C/135F.
Serve with plain or flavoured rice, and some wholesome veggies to complete.
Course Mains
Cuisine Asian
Keyword baked barramundi, baked fish, barramundi recipe, easy fish recipe, white fish recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 305cal
Author Nagi

Ingredients

  • 4 x 180g / 6oz barramundi fillets , skinless, boneless; or other ~2.5cm / 1" thick firm white fish fillets (Note 1)

Glaze:

  • 4 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce , all-purpose or light soy sauce (Note 2)
  • 4 tbsp honey (else maple syrup or 5 tbsp brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar or rice vinegar (Note 3)
  • 1 tbsp mirin (Note 4)
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek , or other Asian chilli paste / sauce (Note 5)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice (Note 6)
  • 1 clove garlic , finely minced
  • 1 tsp ginger , finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp Sichuan pepper , or white pepper (Note 7)

Garnishes

  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions (Note 8)
  • Large red chilli, finely sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan). Line a tray with parchment/baking paper. Place shelf in middle of oven.
  • Cornflour slurry: Mix water and cornflour in a small bowl.
  • Make glaze: Place remaining glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add cornflour slurry then stir well. Cook it for a further 2 minutes until it thickens into a thick paste – thick enough so it stays on the fish when brushed on. See photo in post or video. If it is just a thick syrup, it will slide off the fish.
  • Brush glaze on Fish: Place fish fillets on tray. Dab/brush paste on on the top and sides.
  • Bake then broil/grill: Bake fish for 15 minutes. Then flick to broiler/grill on high, and cook for 3 minutes to caramelise the surface. Target an internal temperature of 55°C/131°F for medium, which is just cooked but not raw at all. Fish temperature will continue to rise to 58°C/136.5°F during resting.
  • Garnish: Remove from oven, transfer to serving plates and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with green onion, chillies and sesame seeds, as desired. Pictured in post with a side of Coconut Rice and cucumber with Asian Sesame Dressing.

Notes

1. Fish fillets suitable for this recipe:
  • Jewfish (mulloway)
  • Snapper (if a large fish)
  • Tilapia – the thick part (reduce oven cook time to 12 minutes)
  • Cod (any)
  • Grouper
  • Monkfish
  • Halibut
  • Pollock (aka Coley)
  • Ling
  • Emperor (grouper)
  • Stripe bass (not all bass is suitable), hake, gummy shark
  • Salmon or ocean trout also work but there might be too much flavour going on as the glaze is quite intense!
Avoid: lean fish (swordfish, tuna, kingfish), small thin fish fillets (bream, dory), long narrow fish (cod), oily fish (mackerel, sardines). See in post for more extensive list.
2. Soy sauce –  Do not use dark soy sauce (too strong) or sweet soy sauce (too sweet). More on different soy sauces here.
3. Chinese black vinegar, like balsamic vinegar, is dark and has more flavour than regular vinegars. You can sub with plain rice vinegar. As a last resort, you can also sub with cider vinegar.
4. Mirin is type of sweet Japanese cooking wine, widely available these days in the Asian section of everyday supermarkets. Substitute with (best option first): Chinese cooking wine, Japanese cooking sake, 3 tbsp low sodium chicken stock (glaze will take longer to thicken).
5. Sriracha or other chilli paste will be a perfectly good substitute to add a bit of warmth into the glaze. If you’re concerned about spiciness, just leave it out.
6. Chinese Five Spice – A premix of 5 spices, frequently used in Chinese cooking. Widely available these days in everyday grocery stores.
7. Sichuan Pepper – Gives a unique numbing spiciness to dishes. Substitute with white pepper. You can also leave out if you’re concerned about spiciness.
8. Green onion garnish – This is how I prepared the curly green onion pictured in the photos: Finely slice the green part on an angle to form long strips. Place in a bowl of water and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes. The longer it stays, the curlier it becomes. If you leave it overnight, you will end up with tight ringlets!!
9. Storage – Fish doesn’t keep or reheat well. While it can be done, it will inevitably become soggy and potentially overcook on reheat. Best to eat fresh.

Nutrition

Calories: 305cal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 1406mg | Potassium: 822mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg

Life of Dozer

It’s a bird…. it’s a plane….no…it’s a drone!

Endless entertainment and free exercise for Dozer whenever there’s a drone about. I’ll share the video if I get a copy!

Dozer chasing drone

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